Tag Archives: Qualcomm Atheros

Wi-Fi adapter shootout: Qualcomm versus Intel in an 802.11 battle

Gamers are always hunting for a competitive edge, and the folks at Bigfoot Networks—now a part of Qualcomm Atheros—have long promised to deliver network interface cards that perform better with online games and other latency-sensitive applications. To demonstrate its prowess in this area, the company sent me two identical Alienware notebooks, one equipped with Qualcomm’s Killer Wireless-N 1202 and the other with Intel’s Centrino Advanced-N 6230.

Robert Cardin
We benchmarked two otherwise identical Alienware laptops: one outfitted with a Killer Wireless-N 1202 NIC (left) and the other with Intel’s Centrino Advanced-N 6230 (right).

Both NICs are dual-band adapters that can connect to an 802.11n router on either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequency band. Both also support two spatial streams for a maximum physical link rate of 300 megabits per second. Some gaming-laptop manufacturers, including Alienware, offer Killer NICs as standard equipment, while others offer the adapters as added-cost upgrades. You can also purchase one of these cards by itself and upgrade your existing notebook, provided that the system has an available Mini PCIe slot to host the card (a common feature on better notebooks). The Killer Wireless-N 1202 is certainly inexpensive enough: I’ve seen it selling online for as little as $35 (Intel’s card is street-priced at about $30).

The key selling point of Killer NIC technology is its ability to identify the types of traffic traveling over your network and to assign higher priority to latency-sensitive traffic, such as online games, HD video, and audio.

Latency is a measure of time delay. When applications such as online games and streaming media encounter too much latency, you’ll end up with visible and/or audible glitches and hiccups. If you’re playing a first-person shooter with an online opponent, latency can render you a frustratingly easy target.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

LTSI v3.4 Released

By Noriaki

Part of supporting the demand for Linux in consumer electronics is ensuring there is a common Linux base that is maintained and supported for the typical lifetime of a consumer device, usually two years, and that supports a large variety of consumer electronics products. The Linux kernel is released at such a rapid pace that until now, device makers were doing significant back-porting, bug testing and driver development on their own, which carried substantial cost in terms of time-to-market, as well as development and engineering effort to maintain those custom kernels.

The Linux Foundation’s Consumer Electronics (CE) workgroup founded the Long Term Support Initiative (LTSI) to address this issue collaboratively. Today, the project provides for both an annual release of a Linux kernel suitable for supporting the lifespan of consumer electronics products and regular updates of those releases for two years. Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman oversees this maintenance and the LTSI kernel tree for this industry-wide project created and supported by Hitachi, LG Electronics, NEC, Panasonic, Qualcomm Atheros, Renesas Electronics Corporation, Samsung Electronics, Sony and Toshiba.

This week the CE working group is releasing the LTSI 3.4 kernel. It is based on the Linux 3.4.25 kernel release and includes a number of backported features from newer releases.

Highlights from today’s release include:

* The Contiguous Memory Allocator (CMA), which is extremely useful for embedded devices that have very limited hardware resources and will better handle the large memory requirements of multimedia applications. CMA originally was merged into the 3.4.0 kernel release, but its functionality was quite limited. Since then, the feature has been significantly improved in the kernel.org releases and those fixes have been added to the LTSI 3.4 kernel release. For more information about this kernel option, please visit LWN.net.

* AF_BUS, a kernel-based implementation of the D-Bus protocol. This feature was created for systems that required a faster D-Bus speed than the existing userspace method could provide, specifically the automotive entertainment systems. For more information about this feature, please see LWN.net.

* CoDel (controlled delay), a transmission algorithm that optimizes TCP/IP network buffer control, is backported for LTSI 3.4. This is a feature used to help control the “buffer bloat” problem that has been identified by the networking community as an issue that all devices need to be aware of. This feature was backported from the 3.5.0 kernel.org release. For more information about it, please see this LWN.net post.

Platform specific board support was backported from newer kernel versions, allowing the Armadillo 800, AT91, kzm9d, kzm9g, and Marzen platforms to work properly with this release.

For more information about LTSI and the latest release, please visit the LTSI website.

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Linux Foundation

Make way for faster, smarter, cloud-savvy networks

LAS VEGAS—Network gear may not be the sexiest stuff at the International CES, but it provides the infrastructure for lots of cool gadgets and cloud services on display here. And those products will benefit from the improved networks and network devices that vendors plan to ship this year.

One example of these trends came from D-Link, which announced a gaming router based on the draft 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard and on Qualcomm Atheros’ new StreamBoost technology for bandwidth management. It’s due around mid-year and price will be announced then.

With SteamBoost, see how much bandwidth every network device is using.

StreamBoost, which Qualcomm Atheros announced last week, differs from existing QoS (quality of service) technology—including the IEEE’s own 802.11e spec—in that it allocates bandwidth based on the actual requirements of applications running on connected devices in real time. (Many QoS technologies simply prioritize application bandwidth requests, which often far exceed actual requirements.) The D-Link Gaming router, expected to appear around midyear, will be one of the first to incorporate StreamBoost.

With a StreamBoost-enabled router, you’ll be able to not only map every device on your network, but see what application (or application type) it’s running and how much bandwidth it is actually using. An optional StreamBoost cloud service will constantly update the software’s intelligence about app and device bandwidth needs.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld